Greater Vernon Recreation Services programmer Shayne Wright (third from left) asked Vernon’s A1 Machine and Welding staff to create a torch for the Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in Vernon, and the company – with help from a few other businesses – was happy to help. (Special Olympics B.C. photo)

Special Olympics B.C. Games torch made in Vernon

Games society has portable torch, thanks to Vernon recreation and businesses

Never before, in its long history, has Special Olympics B.C. had its own torch for its opening ceremonies.

Until now.

Thanks to Greater Vernon Recreation Services, and a handful of local businesses, the specially designed torch will be on full display for the Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games Thursday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon (opening ceremonies start at 7:30 p.m.).

RELATED: Vernon’s snow and city venues set for Special Olympics athletes to shine

“The Games society no longer had a torch to use for the games, they would borrow torches from previous events, so they asked us if there was something we could do,” said Shayne Wright, programmer with Recreation Services. “I looked around in town, talked to Al (Machine and Welding) and they stepped up to the task.”

“They came to use, we put some ideas together and put it together in a couple to three weeks,” said Darryl Thomas, project manager at Al Machine and Welding, helped out on the project by Applewood Heating and Air Conditioning, Sunshine Autographics and Brian’s Heavy Equipment Painting.

The eight-foot-tall torch was built in three components: a mobile base, centre pillar and the cauldron at top. It’s portable and can be broken down into pieces and stored in a three-foot box, making it easy to take to the Games’ host city.

“The challenging part was getting the burner to work properly,” said Thomas. “Special thanks to John at Applewood Heating, he did a pretty good job. We wanted to make it simple and not complicated with burners, valves and lighters. He came up with an idea that worked pretty well so we went with it.”

Thomas said his company was happy to oblige with the request.

“Absolutely. It doesn’t have a date or city attached so it can go wherever it needs to go, and it will be a nice legacy for the Games,” he said.

RELATED: Meet Vernon Special Olympics hometown heroes

Vernon snowshoer Justin Chippendale, one of eight Vernon athletes competing in the Games in their hometown, will be the torchbearer for the opening ceremonies, joined by a member of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon beer baseball league expanding

Okanagan Spring League announces early-bird registration drive; adding new team from Kelowna

Vernon Vipers thump Merritt

BCHL: Win moves Vipers to within a point of third-place Wenatchee

Vernon basketball product’s college career ends in loss

Michael Rouault scores 23 points for TRU but team falls; sister’s squad also eliminated

Vernon Vipers entertain Merritt in Monday afternoon tilt

Vipers sit in fourth place in BCHL Interior Division, three points behind Wenatchee

Vernon Winter Carnival 60s theme a hit with residents

Milestone 60th anniversary Carnival wrapped up Sunday

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read